P3 Science

Classification of Living Things

This science revision note aims to help your child

– understand flow charts

– identify the relevant characteristics 

– Write out your answers clearly.

 

But before you read on, you might want to download this entire revision notes in PDF format to print it out for your child, or to read it later.

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Study the classification chart below.

(a) Using the chart above, state two differences between a butterfly and a penguin.

(b) Using the chart above, state one similarity between an eagle and a flea.

 

PART (a)

Using the chart above, state two differences between a butterfly and a penguin.

 

STEP 1

Identify where the butterfly and penguin are in the chart.

STEP 2

Work backward up the chart to identify all the characteristics of each animal. Then, list them down.

Butterfly:

  1. Has six legs
  2. Can fly
  3. Is an animal that lays eggs

 

Penguin:

  1. Has two legs
  2. Cannot fly
  3. Is an animal that lays eggs

 

STEP 3

Using the characteristics you have listed in Step 2, identify two characteristics that are different between the two animals.

Butterfly:

  1. Has six legs
  2. Can fly
  3. Is an animal that lays eggs

 

Penguin:

  1. Has two legs
  2. Cannot fly
  3. Is an animal that lays eggs

 

Hence, the differences are:

  1. A butterfly has six legs, while a penguin has two legs.
  2. A butterfly can fly, while a penguin cannot fly.

 

FINALLY, put your answer together

Question: Using the chart above, state two differences between a butterfly and a penguin.

Answer: A butterfly has six legs, while a penguin has two legs. A butterfly can fly, while a penguin cannot fly.

 

Common mistakes

 

Wrong answer: A butterfly has six legs while a penguin cannot fly.

You are not comparing the same characteristic here (you are talking about the number of legs of a butterfly while talking about a penguin’s ability to fly). You need to compare the same characteristic of both animals. This means that if you describe the number of legs of a butterfly, you must compare it with the number of legs of a penguin. Similarly, if you describe a penguin’s ability to fly, you must compare it with a butterfly’s ability to fly.

 

Incomplete answer: A butterfly has six legs, while a penguin does not. A butterfly can fly, while a penguin cannot.

It is not enough to say a penguin “does not” or “cannot”. Your answer needs to specify the characteristics of a penguin to make a proper comparison with a butterfly. You have to specify:

  1. How many legs a penguin has
  2. What exactly a penguin cannot do

 

Wrong answers: A butterfly is an insect while a penguin is a bird. / A butterfly cannot swim while a penguin can swim.

While the information in these answers are correct, the question asks you to answer “using the chart above”, meaning that you can only use the information found in the classification table. The classification table does not mention insects/birds or the ability to swim, hence you cannot use these in your answer.

 

Let us look at part (B)

Using the chart above, state one similarity between an eagle and a flea.

STEP 1

Identify where the eagle and flea are in the chart.

STEP 2

Work backward up the chart to identify all the characteristics of each animal. Then, list them down.

Eagle:

  1. Has two legs
  2. Can fly
  3. Is an animal that lays eggs

 

Flea:

  1. Has six legs
  2. Cannot fly
  3. Is an animal that lays eggs

STEP 3

Using the characteristics you have listed in Step 2, identify one characteristic that is the same between the two animals.

Eagle:

  1. Has two legs
  2. Can fly
  3. Is an animal that lays eggs

 

Flea:

  1. Has six legs
  2. Cannot fly
  3. Is an animal that lays eggs

 

Hence, the similarity is:

Both are animals that lay eggs.

 

FINALLY, put your answer together

Question: Using the chart above, state one similarity between an eagle and a flea.

Answer: Both an eagle and a flea are animals that lay eggs.

Let’s try out another example!

 

Study the classification chart below.

Which group A, B, C or D does fern belong to? Explain your answer.

 

STEP 1

Identify the characteristics of fern.

  • Is fern a flowering or non-flowering plant?
  • Does fern live on land or water?

Your child must remember the characteristics of ferns.
Ferns are non-flowering plants.

Ferns reproduce by spores.

An example will be the bird nest ferns (See the image below).

Bird nest ferns are commonly found in Singapore. They can grow on the tree branches.

 

STEP 2

Trace the chart and identify which group the fern falls into.

 

FINALLY, put your answer together

Question: Which group A, B, C or D does fern belong to? Explain your answer.

Answer: Group C. Similar to those in group C, fern is a non-flowering plant and lives on land. Therefore, the fern falls into group C.

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Talk again soon!

Andy Ling

Guiding your child to be the master of science concepts

 

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2 Comments

  1. Jenn

    Hi Teacher, regarding the previous lesson’s homework, will you be going through the answers with the students in class? Or where can I see the answers ?

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